Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

Swimming With Dolphins

You may have noticed it's been a bit quiet on my blog for the last few weeks - just the tumbleweed rolling through lists of del.icio.us links. While part of that was due to the Christmas break, it's also because I've been working on a team at Sun on a very significant project that we've been keeping a close secret as a matter of legal necessity.

But today the covers are off and I can disclose the nature of that project. This morning at 8am EST, Sun announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MySQL AB for a consideration approaching $1bn, subject to all the usual approvals. Jonathan has a long discussion of the news. In support of this move, Sun will be unveiling new global support offerings into the MySQL marketplace. We'll be investing in both the community, and the marketplace - to accelerate the industry's phase change away from proprietary technology to the new world of open web platforms.

I've been part of the due diligence team and having seen all the data, I think this move is a great step for Sun, MySQL and the FOSS communities. For Sun, because it means we now have the ability to offer support on a full web operating system - OpenSolaris, Glassfish, MySQL, NetBeans and much more. For MySQL, because it means the next phase of growth can ride the proven global organisation Sun provides to delver support and other value to customers.

For the global community of Free and open source communities because MySQL is in safe hands. Sun is committed to preserving all the strengths we've come to expect from MySQL - broad platform support, high quality engineering, frank and transparent community engagement - all under the GPL. This joining of strengths is additive, not subtractive. Just as with OpenOffice.org, Sun is aware that MySQL is a crucial FOSS community asset and we intend to be a good steward, balancing community and commercial considerations.

I already know plenty of the folk over there but I'm looking forward to welcoming the MySQL staff (who are just finding out about this now at their meeting in Orlando - Kaj has the news) as colleagues. The next wave of Free/open source is starting, and I've dolphins to swim with!

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Thoughts and pointers on digital freedoms and technology markets. With a few photos too.

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